An interview with Franco Momente, Managing Director of Fine Art Transports Natural Le Coultre, and Pascal Perruchoud, a partner at Optimum and insurance broker specialised in fine art.

In your opinion, how important is it to insure fine art?

F. Momente :  This is a top priority in our line of work. Even with meticulous safety precautions and painstaking care in our handling, packaging and transport operations, there is no such thing as zero risk. We always require our clients to insure their art, which, in the end, is not as expensive as one might think.

Why did you choose to work with an insurance broker?

F. Momente :  Employing the services of a broker gives us access to an expert who can assist us in getting the best coverage from major insurance firms. Insured values today are so high that only a professional can properly manage co-insurance. Moreover, a broker offers many advantages, such as fast, flexible service in any circumstance. By working with him, we are able to obtain tailored solutions and cover all risks in a single, international policy. We cooperate with several insurance firms in order to secure sufficient coverage at a competitive price.

Why purchase insurance? Isn’t the carrier already insured?

P. Perruchoud :  People often assume that forwarding agents are insured, but their insurance is limited to civil liability. The insured value here is not determined by the work’s value, but by the forwarding agent’s terms and conditions, which is why it is important to procure specific insurance for handling, transport and storage. Specific insurance for fine art covers “nail-to-nail” transport; in other words, all risks encountered from the moment a painting is taken down initially to when it is next put on display, including the in-between storage.

How has insurance coverage changed?

P. Perruchoud :  In the past ten years, the insured values of fine art have increased substantially. As a result, fewer insurance companies are able to underwrite art collections.

F. Momente :  We have also noticed that clients are becoming increasingly “professional”; they are more aware of certain risks and are no longer willing to accept them. On the contrary, they demand tailor-made solutions.

It often seems that brokerage services are more expensive than a direct relationship with the insurance firm. Is this true?

P. Perruchoud :  At Optimum, our relationship with insurance firms is comparable to that of an in-house insurance salesman. We are paid according to the business we generate. We are not middle-men, but rather an alternate channel for the client to go through, offering an additional service that is really not any more expensive at all. Ultimately, a broker guarantees that the client receives unbiased assistance, impartial advice and the best solution on the market.


Insurance brokers provide their clients with the best insurance solution at the best available price. Their expert services span three levels of support: advisory, broking and management. Through their financial stability and independence, they can provide an A-to-Z service. As a result, each policy is tailored to the client’s actual needs; unnecessary coverage is eliminated, which in turn leads to lower premiums. Brokers take the pain out of insurance, leaving their clients free to focus on their core business.

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